21 Savage Covers The FADER, Talks Growing Up In The Streets, Metro Boomin & More
by Staff Editor
21 Savage isn’t your ordinary rapper. He lives in a very “real” environment and everything he raps about is the same. The ATL rapper covered the front of the latest issue of The FADER, where that concept is explored even more.
Senior writer Amos Barshad writes: “There isn’t space in 21 Savage’s music for the triumphalism that street rap has traditionally embraced — the classic tale of a plucky young man, weighed down by unimaginable burdens, coming out on top. Because Savage’s vision of life in Atlanta is not that of a grand triumph over impossible odds. His vision is that of a slow, aching tragedy.”
After collaborations with Drake and Meek Mill, 21 Savage says he’s returned to the studio with producer Metro Boomin, his longtime collaborator and 1/2 of Savage Mode.
21 Savage’s cover story is part of The FADER’s forthcoming Faith Issue, which includes stories on hope and belief. The issue hits newsstands in late December, and can be previewed here. Until then, see some excerpts from the story below.
21 Savage on his childhood:
“I probably broke the record for the youngest nigga to bring a gun to that school.”
21 Savage on why he started rapping:
“I wasn’t like, ‘I got shot, I’m finna be a rapper.’ Shit. I just started taking my goddamn dope money and spending it on studio time … I liked how the studio looked. The vibes. The cookies and shit. But I wasn’t rapping cause I was like, ‘Damn, I can get rich and famous.’ I was gonna get rich regardless. I was rapping ‘cause there wasn’t shit else to do.”
Metro Boomin, producer and collaborator, on 21 Savage’s attitude:
“Rap’s way too friendly. That’s why I fuck with him — it’s not buddy buddy, with five, six niggas on every song. It’s ‘Fuck that nigga.’ If you ever see 21 Savage do a song with a rapper, it’s because he got paid the way he wanted to get paid.”
Metro Boomin on Savage Mode:
“I like to do a lot of post-production, a lot of crazy shit. But [Savage] just wanted those motherfuckers clean. The simple, moody, dark beats — that created the proper bed. His voice just different.”
Photo via The FADER / Ben Grieme